Today’s blog is an intersection of some prior Social Network Analysis (aka Cluster Genealogy) and EOGN‘s mention of FultonHistory.com (the website of Historic Newspapers). Stanczyk, waaay back discovered FultonHistory.com – An Historical Newspaper (mostly NY) website. I was not aware that the owner (Tom Tryniski) was still adding content and that the content had grown to about 21.8 million pages, rivaling the Library of Congress’s efforts of digitized newspapers. Each scan is a single page PDF document that is zoomable.
So the idea presented itself, why not see if any ZASUCHA in Niagara Falls can be located in those 21.8 million scanned pages. I am happy to report a very good success. Take a look at the image. It is from Tuesday, January 19th, 1937 edition of the Niagara Falls Gazette. [You will need to click to read death notices - Jacobs, Geraud, Kochan, Laydon, Mahoney, Morrison and ZASUCHA].
Now I said this was a part of a long standing (i.e. “incomplete”) SNA project of mine. I am trying to do ELIASZ/ELIJASZ research by analyzing the affiliated families in the ELIASZ Social Network in Biechow/Pacanow (Poland) and Detroit/Toledo/Cleveland/Buffalo/Niagara Falls/Syracuse (USA). My thesis is that all of these people are closely inter-related from Poland and they continued/extended their villages in the USA.
So by following these “genetic markers” (literally) of my family tree, the affiliated families, that I would be led to new facts about my direct lineage and possibly artifacts (pictures, etc.) of my ancestors. I was also hoping to lure my distant 2nd/3rd/4th cousins to me via this blog and my research in hopes of a second bump beyond my circumstantial info of the SNA. You see they would see their family names and realize the connection and we would be able to do that genealogy swapping of intelligence and/or pictures and documents.
First, an aside [skip ahead to next paragraph if you are not a ZASUCHA], the death notice transcription:
ZASUCHA – Died in Mount St Mary’s hospital, January 19, 1937, Andrew Zasucha, beloved husband of Catherine, father of Helen and Joseph, son of Martin in Poland; brother of Roman of this city. Funeral services at 9:30 Thursday, January 21, from his home, 423 Eighteenth street and 10 o’clock in Holy Trinity church. Burial at Holy Trinity cemetery.
That is some excellent genealogy info there for Andrew Zasucha of Niagara Falls who was born in Pacanow, [old wojewodztwo Kielce], Poland !
Now I am spending many hours in Ancestry/Ellis Island ship manifests, Ancestry city directories, censuses, WWI draft registrations, etc. and now historic NY newspaper scans. I am matching people up (my nodes in the picture) and drawing lines connecting the people(nodes) to other people. I have to take some care to get the nodes right in order to draw inferences, so I tend to a conservative approach of keeping nodes separate until I have a high degree of certainty they are the same node. I use spreadsheets to collect a timeline of data and then match up people before drawing the picture. This is my SNA methodology.
I did this current project because I noticed that my grand-aunt Mary arrived to my grand-uncle John Eliasz and were in Niagara Falls (not Buffalo/Depew like most and not Detroit). I was always puzzled about why Niagara Falls. Who or What drew them there (Niagara Falls) before their sojourn to Detroit? Now grand-aunt Mary came from Ksiaznice in Pacanow parish from her brother-in-law Jan Leszczynski to her brother Jan Eliasz in Niagara Falls in 1910. All of these facts matched my family tree (except for the Niagara Falls which nobody alive had any memory of anyone living there). None the less, I slavishly recorded the address: 235 11th Street, Niagara Falls, NY.
Now let me digress. This is why I want the PLAC tag in GEDCOM to be elevated to a Level 1 tag. I want to do these analyses in my family tree. I want to find people who shared the same/similar places for family events and see if there is any connection that I am not aware of — i.e. SNA (aka Cluster Genealogy). I need it in the genealogy file and I need reports to allow me to search on place and to conform these places into a hiearchy for analysis.
Fortunately, Stanczyk still has a good memory. I was gathering data about: Zasucha, Zdziebko, Zwolski, Hajek, Leszczynski, Eliasz/Elijasz, etc. These are all families found in Pacanow parish who came to the USA and settled in: Buffalo/Depew, Niagara Falls, Syracuse, some moving onward to Cleveland, Toledo and my grandparents moving onward further from Toledo to Detroit. When I was recording addresses from the city directories, I noticed a few Zasucha being at the 235 11th street address. That address rang a bell in my memory and I went back through my family’s ship manifests to see who had been at that same address. That is when I saw that my grand-aunt and my grand-uncle had been there. So now I had a thesis that any ZASUCHA at 235 11th street the surrounding environs, would close family to my grand-aunt/grand-uncle and be direct ancestors of ANNA ZASUCHA, my great-great-grandmother, wife of MARTIN ELIASZ of Pacanow. In fact, I am pretty certain now that I have gotten this far in my SNA, that ANNA ZASUCHA had a brother(s) who had sons: Martin, Adam, Josef, Jan. These four men had children as follows who came to Niagara Falls:
Martin (father of Andrew in the above death notice) – Andrew(the deceased), Roman, and Jan
Adam – Michal, John, Karol, Marya, and Feliks
Josef – Benedykt (son of Josef), Feliks (a 2nd much-younger Feliks, son of Benedykt)
Jan – Roman (a 2nd Roman), Teofil, Josef, and Pawel
Now the ones of greatest interest to me are the children of Adam. This is because Karol and his brother Feliks lived at 235 11th street, the same address that my ELIASZ ancestors had lived at, in the same year! That shows a pretty strong family connection in my family tree (I cannot say for your tree or not) whenever I find it happening. Of course, the other ZASUCHA of Niagara Falls are also of some interest to me as they ALL came from Pacanow. I can be pretty sure that everyone from Pacanow (or Biechow) parish is likely to share a distant (non-linear) family relationship as determined by connecting family trees.
So I owe some thanks to FultonHistory.com – An Historical Newspaper (mostly NY) website and its creator Tom Tryniski. Tom’s efforts have provided my the above death notice. I also found an Emil C. Mrozek (a physician) from Erie County, NY and his exploits of winning a bronze star in WWII. I also found an article of a Richard (aka Ryszard) Kryszewski who died tragically at the age of 18 in a car-train crash in Depew, NY. Now I had Richard’s cause of death from the newspaper article. So some articles are uplifting and some are tragic, but I collect them all for my ancestors.
Some people mock my genealogical research as chasing down dead people. My wife, Teréza, takes the learned Jewish position that I am doing a good deed (mitzvah) in keeping these ancestral memories alive. Tereza likes to call me the “Soul Keeper”. This blog of my musings is filled with my genealogical / family stories. Besides being a “cousin magnet”, this blog is my effort to record these stories.
PLACes: Biechow, Pacanow [in Poland], Detroit, Toledo, Cleveland, Buffalo/Depew, Niagara Falls, Syracuse
NAMEs: ELIASZ/Elijasz, Kedzierski/Kendzierski, Leszczynski, Sobieszczanski, Fras(s), Mylek, Hajek, Mrozek, Kryszewski